Va. senator to House: Don't be resigned to the sequester

Sen. Timothy Kaine, D-Va. Sen. Timothy Kaine, D-Va. Steve Helber/AP

Freshman Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., on Monday told an audience of defense contractors that he plans to push a new batch of planned budget cuts and postpone for six weeks the across-the-board cuts slated to kick in March 1 under sequestration.

“It troubles me when I read about people who are resigned to the sequester occurring,” Kaine said at a gathering in Arlington, Va., hosted by the contractor Dynamis. “Most of the pessimism I’m reading is coming from folks on the House side. Some who want it to happen and some who don’t want it to happen but are worried that it will.”

Kaine, a member of the Armed Services Committee, is conducting a “listening tour” of Virginia focusing on its 200,000 defense-related jobs currently at risk. He vowed to explore ways to align the thinking between the House and Senate to avert sequestration, perhaps with a few budget cuts and legislation to give Congress until mid-April to do a broader deal.

“Tough decisions are best made as part of an ordinary budget process rather than a one-off sequester that no one ever thought was a good idea,” he said. “Why would we want to do that at the same time we’re about to be engaging in an orderly budget process?

The contractors, according to an account in AOL’s Patch, told Kaine the threat of sequestration was already “paralyzing” their industry, leaving them clamoring for Congress to move and create some certainty around which they could plan. Companies are delaying orders and freezing hiring. They said the lack of certainty “is causing Wall Street to invest more in companies that don't do business with the government,” wrote reporter Jason Spencer.

Dynamis President John Braun reported that his company had just learned on Monday that a contract planned for renewal for more than 12 months would instead be renewed for only two.

"We've been sequestered already," said John Hillen, president of Sotera Defense in Herndon, Va. "If you think about the downstream impacts, it's happened already."

Stan Soloway, president and CEO of the Professional Services Council, a contractors trade group, told the group that with many in Congress targeting federal employees for cuts in pay and benefits, contractors could feel the heat next, according to the Patch.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.